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YMF Orchestra's 2015-16 Season to Feature Works by Kanye West, Salonen & Beethoven

Executive Director Julia Gaskill and newly appointed Music Director Yuga Cohler today announced the 2015/16 season of the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) Debut Orchestra, one of the foremost pre-professional training orchestras in the United States.

The season features the inaugural installation of The Great Music Series, a concert series dedicated to the exploration of themes common to both classical masterpieces and the popular music of today. The season-ending concert Yeethoven will compare Kanye West's critically acclaimed album Yeezus, arranged for orchestra by award-winning composer Stephen Feigenbaum, to works by Beethoven. "The Great Music Series is an important step for orchestras in the 21st century," said Cohler. "It is intended to initiate a dialogue between classical music and popular culture, and allows the possibility for orchestras to engage with truly new audiences." Cohler will co-curate the concert with Feigenbaum.

In January, the Debut Orchestra will present a joint performance with the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra (OCYSO) in Walt Disney Concert Hall, as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's Sounds About Town series. Conducted by Cohler and OCYSO music director Daniel Alfred Wachs, the concert commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War I and features the U.S. premiere of Passchendaele, a piece by Mark-Anthony Turnage co-commissioned by the OCYSO. The program also includes The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives and Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 4 ("The Inextinguishable").

The season opens with a concert in the memory of YMF Founder Sylvia Kunin. "In 1955, Sylvia Kunin set out to create a premiere training ground for young musicians in Los Angeles. Her vision and steadfast dedication gave birth to the remarkable Young Musicians Foundation, which today serves more than 1200 youth ages 4-25 through our eight tuition-free programs," shared Julia Gaskill. As a tribute to Kunin, the concert reunites some of the most distinguished YMF alumni for a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto: Lawrence Foster will conduct, and Glenn Dicterow, Nathaniel Rosen, and Gerald Robbins will be the featured soloists.

Exemplifying a commitment to the performance of new music, the Debut Orchestra's 2015-2016 season includes performances of such modern works as Foreign Bodies by former L.A. Phil music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, Try by L.A.-based composer Andrew Norman, and The Mysteries of the Macabre by György Ligeti, featuring YMF Debut Concerto Competition First Prize winner Kirsten Ashley Wiest.

Equally at home with traditional as with modern repertoire, Cohler will additionally lead performances of Schumann's Symphony No. 2, Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and Gershwin's Piano Concerto with YMF Debut Concerto Competition Second Prize winner Dongni Xie at venues across Los Angeles, including the Leo S. Bing Theatre at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese-American Cultural and Community Center.

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2015 - 2016 SEASON SCHEDULE:


Sunday, October 4th, 2015 | 4:00 PM

Wilshire Boulevard Temple

3663 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010

Yuga Cohler, conductor

Lawrence Foster, conductor

Glenn Dicterow, violin

Nathaniel Rosen, cello

Gerald Robbins, piano

SCHUMANN - Overture to Manfred, op. 115

DEBUSSY - Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

SCHUBERT - Overture to Rosamunde

BEETHOVEN - Concerto for violin, cello, and piano, op. 56, C major (Triple Concerto)


Sunday, November 15th, 2015 | 6:00 PM

Leo S. Bing Theatre - Los Angeles County Museum of Art

5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Yuga Cohler, conductor

Andrew NORMAN - Try

SCHUMANN - Symphony No. 2, op. 61, C major


Sunday, January 10th, 2016 | 7:30 PM

Walt Disney Concert Hall

111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

YMF Debut Orchestra and Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra (OCYSO)

Yuga Cohler, conductor

Daniel Alfred Wachs, conductor

IVES - The Unanswered Question

Mark-Anthony TURNAGE - Passchendaele (U.S. Premiere)

NIELSEN - Symphony No. 4, "The Inextinguishable"


Friday, February 19th, 2016 | 7:30 PM

Aratani Theatre - Japanese American Cultural & Community Center

244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Yuga Cohler, conductor

Kirsten Ashley Wiest, soprano

STRAVINSKY - Petrushka

LIGETI - The Mysteries of the Macabre

Esa-Pekka SALONEN - Foreign Bodies


Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 | 8:00 PM

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Yuga Cohler, conductor

Dongni Xie, piano

GERSHWIN - Piano Concerto



Friday, April 16th, 2016 | 7:30 PM

Aratani Theatre - Japanese American Cultural & Community Center

244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Yuga Cohler, conductor and co-curator

Stephen Feigenbaum, arranger and co-curator

Music from Kanye West's Yeezus paired with works by Beethoven, including the Egmont Overture, Symphony No. 5, and String Quartet No. 14 (op. 131).

Young Musicians Foundation exists to unify communities through exceptional classical music experiences. We provide opportunities for youth of all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds to cultivate their abilities and passion for music during the pivotal formative years of their development. By expanding access to quality musical education and performances, we nurture creativity and emotional expression, enriching quality of life and fostering current and future audiences. Our eight interconnected music programs provide an introduction to musical instruments and technique, in addition to scholarships and performance opportunities for advanced students embarking on professional careers.

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